Sometimes we feel the pain or joy of another as if it were our own.
And sometimes it’s hard to know what to do with these intense feelings.
If you are one of these sensitive people, you are not alone.
What’s more, you can turn what could be a handicap into a valuable gift.
Feeling Another’s Pain
They had attacked the trees with a chainsaw. Hundreds of them.
Tortured is the perfect word to describe what they had done to them, and what the trees must be feeling.
I immediately felt such compassion, grief, and sadness that it felt like I’d been punched in the gut. I literally felt sick to my stomach.
I felt it for the trees. Not for myself, that I could no longer enjoy the beauty of them, although, of course, that was a loss too. But I felt for the trees themselves.
I felt this way for quite some time. I did what I could in a practical sense to prevent it ever happening again, but in the end my efforts have been futile. I’m sorry to say it’s become an annual ritual.
All of us are sensitive to our surroundings. Some of us are more sensitive than others, and some of us notice it more than others. But we all are affected by everything around us.
This is known as empathy.
The typical way this word is used is in relation to our feeling compassion for another person. We identify with them and then feel what they might feel
But we can feel empathy for everything and anything. For sentient beings especially (and here I include the plant kingdom), but also for those things we don’t consider as having feeling at all.
And it happens in a physical or vibrational way without our even thinking of that person or thing.
Are You an Empath?
If you aren’t aware of this influence on you, you can find yourself feeling all kinds of emotions and moods that just don’t make sense given your current life situation.
If this happens a lot it’s the first sign that you are what’s known as an “empath”. This means you are more naturally sensitive than most people to energies around you.
And you absorb them and take them on as if they were your own without even noticing you’re doing that.
So Now What?
There are lots of ways to work with your empathic abilities.
Another way is to learn to use those very same abilities to greatly enhance your life and the lives of others.
This includes sharing your experiences with other empaths as well as reaching out to those beings or things you feel empathy for. (Sending loving energy to Gaia or Mother Earth is a good example of this. Or send some love to the trees of the Jemez. They can use it.)
This is how you turn what might otherwise be a handicap into one of your most useful skills.
I’ll continue to write about this topic from time to time, and in more detail. In the meantime, there is a lot of free information on the web about working with these abilities. Here’s one site that’s fairly comprehensive and a good place to start.
A Series of Empath Interviews
Another great place for helpful information is a new empath interview series.
Over at her lively and informative blog Conduit of Joy!, Kara has just kicked off an interview series “Empaths R Us”. (Is that like cute or what? It’s reflective of her fun-loving energy.)
Her first interview is with yours truly , and you can find it here. She asks really thought-provoking questions and it was an interesting process to consider them.
If you’re wondering if you’re an empath, or if you know you are and want some ideas for working with it, I think you’ll find my interview helpful.
Better yet, subscribe to or bookmark Conduit of Joy! so you can benefit from the whole series!
And maybe I will “see you there”.
Have you ever found yourself “crying for the trees?” Do you consider yourself an empath? Any comments or questions about what I discuss in my interview? I’d love to hear!
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